April 28, 2016 / 2:30 PM / 3 years ago

Turkish military kills 11 Islamic State militants in northern Syria: sources

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s military returned fire on Islamic State positions in northern Syria on Thursday, killing 11 members of the militant group, military sources said.

The military returned fire after its artillery near the border town of Karkamis was hit by mortars, the sources said. Seven militants firing mortars were killed and four more were killed in a vehicle, the sources said.

Karkamis is just across the border from the Islamic State-controlled Syrian town of Jarablus. It is also about 100 km (62 miles) east of the Turkish border town of Kilis, which has been frequently hit by rocket fire from Islamic State-controlled Syrian territory in recent months, killing civilians.

Turkey has repeatedly fired back at Islamic State positions from its border with Syria, but has said it needs greater support from Western allies, citing the difficulty of hitting moving targets with howitzers.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying this week that the United States would deploy a rocket launcher system near the stretch of border that has come under attack.

A senior U.S. military official has confirmed the matter was under discussion but declined to comment further.

In the latest attack on Kilis, one person was killed and 26 injured when rockets pounded the town on Sunday.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by David Dolan

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